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Current Affairs

Covid-19 anti-bodies have less effectiveness against new variants

Date: 08 March 2021 Tags: Biotechnology

Issue

A new research has found out that the new variants of Covid-19 virus (UK, South Africa and Brazil) may not be identified by anti-bodies designed to track the original variant.

 

Background

The research emphasised the need for more anti-bodies in order to neutralise the new variants of the virus.

 

Details

  • The research indicates that Covid-19 drugs and vaccines developed till now may become less effective as the new variants become prominent.

  • The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the spike protein to attach onto and get inside human cells. The spike is thus a main target for drug and vaccine developers.

  • The new virus variants contain multiple mutations in their spike genes. This can reduce the effectiveness of drugs and vaccines that target the spike proteins.

 

Research

  • Researchers tested the virus variants against antibodies in the blood of people who had recovered from infection or were vaccinated with the vaccine.

  • The study indicated that the UK variant could be tackled with same levels of antibodies as the original virus, but the other two mutants required from 3.5 to 10 times the original.

 

Observation

  • The amount of anti-body produced by a person in response to natural vaccination or infection varies. 

  • Some people produce high levels of anti-bodies that will help them counter the mutated variants of the virus. However, older individuals and those with immune-suppressants cannot produce such high levels.